Tips For Enhancing the Online Customer Experience

We’ve all been there – a complicated payment flow with too many steps, endless fields requiring too much data, and to top it off, your preferred method of payment isn’t offered. Annoyed at the level of detail and questions, you abandon the process.

This is a common pain point for e-Commerce businesses. After all the work they’ve invested in driving consumers to their site and moving online shoppers through the sales funnel, they end up losing the sale near the final stage of checkout.

This can clearly have an adverse financial impact on the business. A recent survey revealed that 75.9 percent of online retail orders in Asia Pacific were abandoned.

The reasons vary, but they include: payment security concerns, confusing checkout pages, unexpected shipping costs or too many admin procedures. This suggests that many e-Commerce retailers are still falling short at multiple points during the checkout process.

There is a compelling business case therefore, in making sure you provide an optimum customer experience at every stage along the purchase journey in your online store, right up to the point your customer hits the ‘buy’ button, and beyond.

Here are some tips to help ensure your online checkout process complements the rest of the shopper experience:

Cater to local preferences

Reaching out to local customers can sometimes be as easy as offering a preferred method of payment. However, this can vary, such as language differences across the various markets. Merchants should look for payment solution providers who have an in-depth understanding of local markets, to provide impartial advice on which payment methods will work best for the customer. Today, there is technology available to automatically offer a targeted mix of local payment methods to customers, based on the shopper’s location and preferred currency.

To provide an example, Indonesians typically prefer to pay via cash or bank transfer for merchandise purchased online; credit card penetration is quite low throughout the country. With this knowledge in mind, Spotify was able to launch successfully in Indonesia earlier this year, with preferable payment methods readily available.

Make it easy for mobile

Today, the shopping experience is all about convenience, and new mobile payment methods are making it easier than ever for consumers to shop on-the-go. This is something for online retailers to bear in mind when planning strategy, as technology and shopper expectations are evolving fast.

Mobile commerce is an area where Australia is currently lagging behind. Australian consumers love the technology, but only about 49 percent of Australian e-Commerce businesses are equipped to accept mobile payments. In a country where smartphones have 80 percent penetration, it seems our retailers are a bit slow to catch up. However, this also presents an interesting opportunity for up-and-coming businesses to get ahead of the curve.

In addition to adopting popular mobile payment methods, merchants should look at additional ways to enhance their customers’ mobile experience. For example, customers should not have to struggle to view websites on a smartphone or tablet. Remember, customers appreciate a process that requires fewer click through fields to complete when using smaller screens.

An effective way to achieve this would be the implementation of one-click checkouts with tokenized stored payment data. This stores shoppers’ payment details, replacing it with a token to be used for repeat purchases, rewarding repeat shoppers with a personalised experience.

Use data to fine-tune the experience

By the time the shopper hits ‘pay’, it seems that the customers have completed the purchase. But the story is far from over. Other issues can still arise, including questions of fraud.

Many companies take a blanket approach, simply blocking all suspicious transactions. While that keeps the fraudsters away, it will also turn away a number of legitimate customers. To protect revenue loss from this, merchants should consider using a risk management solution, that identifies the shopper behind the transaction and analyses their fraud score, so good shoppers are instantly approved and fraudsters are recognised across cards, devices and email addresses.

Revenue can also be affected by unnecessary card declines. According to payments company Adyen, 5 percent of online card transactions globally, are refused due to flaws in the legacy payments system. This can be prevented with automated tools that work in the background of every payment to convert initially declined card transactions into approvals. Helpful tools include automatic retries to prevent failure from glitches, or connection problems and intelligent reformatting and rerouting of payment requests according to bank preferences.

While there is no ‘one method fits all’ solution for payments, merchants should consistently test their online payments systems with a goal in mind, to minimise friction and maximize revenue.


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